In my last blog, I shared that the stress of my husband’s new job caused him to spiral down further into depression. Meanwhile, I had started looking at properties on the east coast, convinced more than ever it was our destiny. When the Lord spoke to me to “go and take the land,” I was torn between respecting where my husband was at and being compelled to obey God with what I felt was a clear call to action. What would be the spiritual cost of disobedience?
Five months into his new job, my husband came home from work, downcast as usual. I could hear the raw emotion in his voice as he said:
“This job...it hurts my soul.”
His words gripped my heart. I empathized, having had my own experience with the ruthlessness of consulting firms. When you take on a position that is not in your area of passion and gifting, and have little support, it’s like being thrown into the deep end of a pool when you don’t know how to swim. It’s a struggle just to survive.
Yet I was grateful that my husband was finally being honest with me—and more importantly, himself—about where he truly was at.
I had watched my husband struggle for months, all the time suppressing my natural tendency to want to “fix” things. It was time for me to step in and give him some direction and help.
“Why don’t you ask for a month off work? You’re only on contract, and it’s not busy right now; they won’t care if you take time off. Why don’t we take a trip out to the east coast and check things out? We can consider it a reconnaissance trip; an opportunity for us to get away and do something to restore your soul. I know we can’t really afford to go right now…but can we afford not to? If worse comes to worse and you lose your job, then so be it. There’s something better out there for you. I know it!”
In my heart of hearts, I didn’t want to be like the fearful ten of the twelve spies Moses sent out to scout the land of Canaan (see Numbers 1). I wanted to be like the other two spies, Caleb (“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it;” Numbers 13:30) and Joshua (“…take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own;” Joshua 1:11b). Both Caleb and Joshua chose to move forward in faith since God had already promised the land to them.
I had already discerned that my husband needed to be eased into making such a big change in his life. By assuring him that we were only going to “check it out,” I felt certain it would take the pressure off making a commitment before he was ready. Surely, he would start to catch on to my vision once we were there.
Grief and regret flashed in my husband’s eyes as he spoke through gritted teeth. “I can’t leave. I have to work.”
No matter how much I pleaded, my husband wouldn’t budge. Maybe it was fear of the unknown. Maybe he thought by leaving he was saying goodbye to what he saw as his last chance to redeem himself after his devastating job loss. Either way, my husband wasn’t ready. We would not be travelling to the east coast any time soon.
Three weeks later, my husband was let go from his job.
With the beginning of the harsh prairie winter just weeks away, and my own increasing work commitments, we had missed our window of opportunity to travel. Now we would be stuck on the prairies for at least another six months.
We were about to enter a season that would prove to be one of the most challenging times of our marriage.